According to Training Peaks, “Champions are made in the off-season, which is maybe the most underestimated part of the training cycle” and we agree!
A lot of athletes plan a well-deserved rest period after their A race or their season is over. And recovery is important. You don’t want to start a long or arduous training cycle fatigued or you can risk injury.
But a lot of athletes decide to take some time, with all the intentions to “keep their base” through the holidays and fail to not only not improve but also fail to keep that base. Suddenly it’s January and you’re fighting the revolutionary gym crowds or worse, it’s February and you’re panicking about an April half ironman that sure sounded awesome in July when you signed up!
Champions rest, recover and then refocus. Recover by adjusting your training plans with your coach and plan some active recovery efforts that might be more social. It’s time to run, bike with friends, climb mountains and enjoy some activities you don’t have time for during peak training phases, as well as some guilty pleasure time.
Then refocus. Now’s the time to work on your weaknesses, focus on strength, look into your swim stroke, get over your fear of open water or ocean entries, test new gear or nutrition for next year. The off season is the best time to try new things and get excited for the year ahead with perhaps a less time intensive workload, but a smart and well planned workload to optimize the benefits of the time you do put in.
Ready to work smarter? Let’s make sure your off season is fun AND fuels your best performances next season.